I Bet You Don’t Know Your “Adaptability Quotient”
Raw intelligence, business savvy, people skills—these traits once served as fair indicators of future professional success. And they still do. But history tells us that a business can still fail, even when these traits are present in the leadership. What then, are the reliable indicators of success? What are the traits of a chronically prosperous company, like Apple? Maybe it’s time for entrepreneurs and business owners to stop asking the question “How do I become successful?” and start asking the question “How do I remain successful?”
Plenty of companies reach liftoff; they get off the ground and catch the air under their newly spread wings. But the failure rate for new companies is abysmal. According to Fundera, “20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of small businesses fail in their second year, and 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business. Finally, 30% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business.” Chalk it up to poor management? Insufficient finances? Or is it something else? A business can go under for any number of reasons, but is there a trait which, when present, begins to safeguard a company against it? When we behold businesses like BlackBerry and Blockbuster that tumbled beneath the weight of their own success, we start to wonder: if ample funds and stellar leadership can’t save a company, what can?
The answer is adaptability. And it can be measured with your Adaptability Quotient (AQ). One of the reasons that adaptability has become such a pressing factor for success in today’s market is the fact that we are contending with so much change.
Technological advancements abound, the things we once took for granted about the marketplace and how products and services are consumed is being actively uprooted. That’s thrilling. But the pace of change has proved to be a stumbling block for companies like Kodak, BlackBerry, and Blockbuster, who simply couldn’t keep up. They couldn’t adapt to the changes at hand.
As a business owner, you’ve got your company finances squared away, you engineered a reliable business plan, you have a solid offering. But are you adaptable? Is everything about your current success contingent upon your audience and market remaining the same?
On the topic of adaptability, Forbes commentator Sam Page writes: “The world of technology is changing faster than ever, and traditional businesses are having trouble keeping up with the pace. If you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer, perhaps nothing is more ominous than online sales and Amazon. But smart business owners and managers shouldn’t be concerned. Instead, they should embrace change and find creative ways to expand. Why not find a way to sell their products on Amazon? The near exponential rate of technological advancement poses more opportunities than ever before.”
To help navigate the previously unchartered waters of the adaptability quotient, our team dug deep and researched how top players respond to unanticipated changes in the market, how you can deliberately and strategically cultivate your adaptability, and uncovered what the internal structure of an adaptable company looks like. Advantage|ForbesBooks is thrilled to announce the release of its debut whitepaper, Adapt or Die: Why Corporate Giants Failed, How to Make Sure You Don’t, now available for free download to all CEOs, business owners, and thought leaders who aim to keep an edge over their competitors. At Advantage|ForbesBooks, we espouse the importance of thought leadership in your field, and couldn’t wait to share the tenets of this powerful business insight with our readership. To learn how to raise your AQ, click here to download the whitepaper.